get in


New Member
Hello everyone: I have to admit, I'm not a clicker trainer. My dog is 3 years old and I wouldn't be against beginning him on a clicker but I'm not sure how to start now. My frustration is that while he sits on my left side immediately on command, it's always at an angle with his head close to my knee and his butt out away from me. I have manually repositioned him umpteen times (that's alot!) and told him "get it in" and then given him a treat when he is in position, but he just doesn't seem to get it enough to do it himself. It's really not a big issue because I do not intend to show him in obedience, but I just want to understand what I am doing wrong. Thanks for your help.

Jean Cote

Staff member
Hello nbrooke,

There are a few things that you can do.

  1. You can train your dog to get in while he is in a heel position. This is pretty easy since he does not have to walk to you, turn around and get in.

  2. You can take 1 step forward after your dog turns around. In order to catch up with you he will have to straighten his body.

  3. Train your dog to get in beside a broom stick. Gradually bring the broom stick closer to you until your dog has straight sits. Then get a short stick and keep on shortening it until you no longer need it.

    Here is a diagram to illustrate what I mean:

Hope this helps. Have a happy valentines day!


Experienced Member
I would start just by teaching him to stand in heel position. Generally you can either do a swing or an around finish. For the swing, start with him in front, bring your left hand and left foot back together, the dog follows, then bring your foot and treat hand forward so the dog should be back into a heel. Doing it against a wall helps so his but can't swing out. Generally the dog wants to be so he can face you easier so it's natural for a but to swing out.

If you just want him to move his but in without completely reseting him it'll be harder. Generally that requires the dog to have some hind end awareness. I would teach that by teaching him to pivot with his front feet on a block and his back feet off. Then you can start having him pivot with you in a heel position. It is hard to teach, but worth it to have a dog that can move his hind end proficiently!

As for the clicker, that's an easy one! There are great lessons in the classroom on how to use the clicker. Just start by loading it: click, give a treat, repeat until he gets whiplash turning his head to you when he hears the clicker.


Experienced Member
You can also use a wall to prevent this flare out and lure the dog into position. Click right when he's in correct position. Step forward a little and lure forward against the wall. Then when he's getting it fade the lure. Hold the clicker and treat in the same hand and cue your heel with that hand out of sight behind your back or still and click and hand the treat over within 2 seconds or so. I do this by holding a few treats and clicker on a stretchy wrist band, click with my ring finger and transfer treats by dropping the next one from my palm to between right index finger and thumb ready. Sort of like having a stack of pennies and dispensing one at a time with finger and thumb to the other hand. I click and put the treat into my left hand and deliver in the position the dog's head should be if he is in a proper heel position. Your hands should be still unless signalling a hand cue for heel so as not to distract and to be consistent.

If he flares out ignore the entire thing, step forward a step or two and recue. Watch as he catches up to you and click BEFORE he flares out or use a wall or broom etc. Ignore the incorrect and reward the correct fast. :dogtongue2: I taught most of my heel work beginning indoors in narrow hallways in our house. Then we moved to other areas and outside and gradually added distractions. Going straight out to a park or on a walk may be to distracting to get this down at first.